It should come as no surprise that Boise isn’t a hotbed for animators or video game designers/developers. Anyone around here will tell you how hard it is to either A) find talent or B) find a job. We’ve talked and blogged about this in the past, but last year we decided to stop talking and do something about it.
In 2011 we started an organization called Interactive Artists & Animators Group of Idaho (IAAGI) in the hopes of finding new talent, giving people a place to share ideas, network and teach. We’ve been surprised by the number of developers and artists that have been hidden away and share the same passion and desire to see the industry take off here. But that’s not to say there isn’t plenty of room for improvement.
We’re quietly talking with people about ways to get kids excited about programming, game design and animation. It’s a slow process, but we’ll post updates as they come available. In the meantime, if IAAGI is something you’re interested in or you know somebody who is, point them our way. We’re always looking to meet new people.
Not much of surprise, Idaho isn’t a hot spot for game design and animation. What we have found though is that there are pockets, small groups, and individuals that have been working alone with no idea that there are others just like them. People building games, animating characters and illustrating cartoons. IAAGI was formed to help bring these like-minded individuals together to network, share ideas and collaborate on projects.
If you’d like to be involved, head over to IAAGI’s website and RSVP for the first meeting.
Within the confines of Pixel Fish Studios rages a small yet heated battle. It’s not political, religious or even about sports. No it’s about something much more important- 3D software. In our studio the heavyweights are Maya and Lightwave and the smack talk never seems to die. Now to be honest, we’ve been moving away from Lightwave because of certain issues with UVs and game design, but it’s still considered a competent tool and it was the only thing we used for many years. You might say Lightwave has that old flannel shirt feel to it.
But when we were hired to do the Alpine Village previsualization project, it was naturally assumed we’d easily go from the architect’s program to Maya for texturing and rendering because after all, Maya is the “best” (so we’d been told). Except that it wasn’t. Time and time again the file import resulted in mangled meshes, missing UVs and head scratching.
So what does one do when faced with repeated Maya failure? Yep, Lightwave to the rescue. The pipeline plan changed to include both Maya and Lightwave and proved to be incredibly successful. So why do I even bring this up? Because it goes to show that all options should be placed on the table. Pride could have easily gotten in the way on this project. And while I’m sure an all-Maya solution could have been found, the better way was to fall back to an old friend.